Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paulding County Regional Airport Becomes First Airport to Open in Georgia in Three Decades

The Paulding County Regional Airport officially opened November 14, becoming the first airport to open in Georgia in 33 years.

“Companies far and wide can now look to Paulding County for operations that require the connectivity and direct access this new airport will provide,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This has truly been a team effort, from our elected officials in Washington, our federal agency partners and state and local leaders who all committed to working together to see this project complete.”

Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson was joined by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Congressman Phil Gingrey and local officials to celebrate the opening. Governor Perdue was scheduled to be there but his return to Georgia from the Republican Governors' Association meeting in Miami was delayed by weather.

“Today is a great day for Paulding County as we formally open the Paulding County Regional Airport,” said Speaker Richardson. “I am thrilled to see this new facility build on the growth that our county has already experienced. It will only help this area continue its positive momentum by bringing in more quality jobs that our citizens deserve. The construction of this airport would not have been possible without the hard work of our local, state and federal partners coupled with the expertise of the private sector-to those groups we owe special thanks.”

The Paulding County Regional Airport (PUJ) is the first jet-capable airport to be built in Georgia in over 30 years and its design provides a foundation for the future of aviation and commerce in Paulding County. Named by the United States Department of Commerce as winner of the 2007 “Excellence for Innovation in Economic Development” award, the airport is the centerpiece of a 10,000 acre pod system designed to enhance commerce and industry in the region.

“I commend everyone who has been involved in making the Paulding County Regional Airport a reality,” said Senator Chambliss. “The completion of this airport, as well as the work that has gone into the nearby industrial park, will provide a great economic engine for Paulding County and the surrounding communities. I’m honored to join my friends for this Grand Opening Ceremony.”

Over the last two years, the state has contributed over $3 million dollars to Paulding County for this project through the Airport Aid program at the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). A contract was recently signed with Paulding County to provide state funds for 75 percent of the cost for the construction of the taxiway and apron and for the installation of navigation aids. GDOT has considered the Paulding County project to be one of the highest priority projects in its statewide system, and has recognized the need to build it for more than 20 years.

“Today marks a great victory for Paulding County and all of Northwest Georgia. Paulding County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and the addition of this airport will only make the area more attractive to prospective businesses and families looking to invest in a community.” said Congressman Gingrey. “I am proud to have worked alongside Governor Perdue, Senators Chambliss and Isakson, as well as Chairman Shearin, the Paulding County Commission and the Airport Authority to make this airport a reality. The airport, combined with an adjacent business and technology park, will bring good-paying jobs to the community especially needed in this time of economic difficulty and uncertainty.”

“The Paulding County Airport is perfectly situated to meet the pent-up demand for air traffic infrastructure in metro Atlanta.” said Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. “As the only Georgian on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a member of the Aviation Subcommittee, I have worked for several years along with Congressman Phil Gingrey to steer the course for this airport on the federal level. I've taken a personal interest in this project even though it’s outside my district because our region is increasingly interdependent and the Paulding County Airport will have a positive impact on all of metro Atlanta. I congratulate Paulding County on this special day, which is the result of many of years of vision and hard work by local leaders.”

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